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Poised to progress

Van Gaal: That may have been the turning point

Bayern are poised to hit their first declared target of the season, a place in the Champions League last sixteen, after extending their lead at the top of Group E with maximum points from three matches. Tuesday evening’s 3-2 home victory over CFR Cluj means a draw in the return two weeks from now could be enough to see last season’s finalists through to the knockout stages.

“We’re not through yet, but it's the optimal start. I really don’t know when Bayern last took nine points from their first three Champions League fixtures,” Philipp Lahm mused. In fact, FCB last reached the halfway mark in the group stage with nine points back in 2006-7, and it is the fourth time Munich have won their opening three games in the competition.